PART VI – GETTING TAKEN FOR A RIDE
Buckle up for another rough ride. I’m pumping the brakes again.
I was excited to find another 1967 Mopar B body convertible for sale on Hemmings the other day. This one is a Dodge Coronet R/T and it looked awesome, light blue with a white top and white interior, and riding on period-correct redline tires. This car was being sold by a Dodge dealership in Sioux City, Iowa and I clicked on an inquiry tab and asked about the car. A salesperson got back to me really quick, and I was getting that feeling you get when you go to a dealership to kick some tires and get the “buy it now” pressure pitch. I could almost picture her wearing a plaid jacket and white dress shoes. I was trickling blood in the water, and the shark had sensed it.
The car was described as being a favorite of the dealership owner, kept at his house and that he personally enjoys driving it. It was listed for nearly $50,000, which is a little higher than what I have seen a few of them sell for. I let her know that I was interested, but I had to consider taxes and shipping, and that the asking price was pushing me over budget with all of that. She inquired as to where I lived and advised that I would pay taxes in my state. Then she offered the car for $49,000 with shipping. That’s still pretty high for me, but it was in line with what these cars typically sell for. I was interested for sure.
After that sales pitch, I advised her that I was reluctant to buy a 50+-year-old car without seeing it run or at least a video of it. The website had a short video, but there was no sound and the car wasn’t moving. I asked if there was a video of it driving and she provided this:
Lots of wind noise, but it runs and drives. Did you notice anything different about the car? It was the first thing I noticed as soon as it came into view. The dealership removed the period correct and totally awesome redline tires and replaced them with white walls. Not a deal killer for me, but I dig that redline tire/Hot Wheels look.
Since there are only so many of these cars available out there, I decided to see if I could dig up any history or information on this one. I Googled the VIN and got only two hits. And the first one was an a-ha moment. I had seen this car for sale before.
When I peruse the Hemmings classifieds I usually skip over the cars listed for auction, as I am just not familiar with buying a car at auction. There are rules and hidden costs involved, and if you aren’t able to be there in person to see the car you have to rely on just a description. Plus you still have to get the dumb thing home somehow. But I do look at the listings of the cars that I am interested in, especially the ’67 B bodies. This particular car had been listed on Hemmings about 4 months ago as part of a Mecum auction listing. Here is a photo from that listing:
The car hit the auction block in the Phoenix area in March 2019 at no reserve and sold for $35,000 plus a 10% commission, for a grand total of $38,500.
The other Google hit was for a website called Rick Carey’s Collector Car Auction Reports, and it provided a ton of insight into the car:
“Restored and clean underneath. Redone to appropriate standards for what it is, but done on a budget and indifferently presented with some age and a few miles since the restoration. – The Glendale bidders clearly saw this Coronet for what it is and priced it appropriately for its weekend driver condition.”
Mr. Carey thought that this car sold well for $38,500 and that the new owner will enjoy his weekend driver.
So how does this Coronet go from being recently required 3-4 months ago, to being a “favorite of the owner who loves to drive it,” to being turned around and offered for sale at a markup of $11000?! I think the reason the owner “loves” it is because he’s trying to flip it, and he stands to make quite a profit. This was not settling well with me.
Now this happens all the time, and I get it. The Olds 442 I drove last year had a price of $45K and after I passed on it, I found it for sale in Ohio for $55K. This owner runs a new car dealership, selling classic cars on the side, and is in the business of making a profit on those great deals he finds. Truthfully the car isn’t really priced out of what the actual value is. My last post about losing out on another one of these cars, almost identical to this one, sold for $48000. So it’s a fair listing price. It’s just that he stands to make a huge profit, and I’m not sure I’m the one that wants to please him in that way.
I decided to reply with what I now know about the car and offered a low ball offer, an offer in which he still stands to make a profit, but just about half of what he was looking for. His salesperson rep wasn’t having it. She came back with what she offered before -$49K and delivery to my driveway. I’m mulling it over.
I’m looking to take a ride in a classic car, not be taken for a ride.